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IAM2149 – Coach Helps Clients on their Marketing Strategy and How to Create Value-Based Content

Podcast Interview with Kirsten Graham

IAM2149 - Coach Helps Clients on their Marketing Strategy and How to Create Value-Based Content

In this episode, we have Kirsten Graham, an expert in creating value-based video content that helps business owners establish trust and authority. Her services include video and audio editing, social media management, and email marketing. With over 35 years of sales experience and a background in owning mortgage and real estate companies, Kirsten brings a wealth of knowledge to the table.

Kirsten emphasizes how SOPs provide structure and standardization, making it easier to manage team members and ensure smooth workflows.

Kirsten also shares her own experiences and challenges in starting her business, highlighting the need to take action and not fear failure.

The conversation highlights the importance of expressing gratitude towards clients, team members, and business partners, even during challenging times.

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Transcription:

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Kirsten Graham Teaser 00:00

So I love the fact that we get to help people really, really bring their knowledge and their skill and their expertise to the table. And then the other side that I love is we actually pair our clients with a virtual assistant who does all the video editing, audio editing, social media, all the fun stuff.

Intro 00:20

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:47

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Kirsten Graham. Kirsten, excited to have you on the show.

Kirsten Graham 00:55

Thank you so much for having me. I'm thrilled to be here, Gresh. I can't wait for our conversation.

Gresham Harkless 00:59

Absolutely. I'm thrilled as well because Kirsten is doing so many awesome things. And of course, before we jump into the conversation, I'm gonna read a little bit more about Kirsten so you can hear about some of those awesome things. And Kirsten loves helping business owners create evergreen value based video content that showcases their authority to build, know, and trust. Knowing that time is our most valuable asset, Kirsten and her team pair each client with a trained marketing VA who takes care of video, audio editing, social media, and email marketing. This frees them up to focus on making money. And one of the things I loved before I jumped into this is I read a little bit more more about Kirsten.

I've heard and read that she's done so many awesome things, including owning her own mortgage company, a real estate closing company, and also she's been a real estate investor as well too. Over 35 years of sales experience. And what I really, really love is she got her start at the age of 12, I think with being a Girl Scout, which I thought was absolutely awesome. And I love the quote that she said her dad said that she would do a really good job in being in the military if she could start out as a general. So, Kirsten, excited to have you on the show. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Kirsten Graham 02:08

Absolutely. Thank you so much. I forget about my dad saying that sometimes, so I think it is definitely in our bio or the website.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 02:15

Yes. Absolutely. I was watching a video, and you had mentioned it. So I thought that was awesome and how important it is, especially, I imagine, for the work you do and the people that you work with. So I know I touched on a little bit. Let's rewind the clock. Hear a little bit more on how you guys started, what I call your CEO story.

Kirsten Graham 02:29

Sure. Yeah. So like you said, I spent most of my career in real estate, and I absolutely loved it. At the time when I in my mortgage company, my closing company, I did a lot of loans for self employed people. So I would see their business tax returns, and I would see their personal tax returns. And then they would always take me to lunch to pick my brain. So that was the start of a decade of mentoring, which eventually turned into a paid coaching business. And I absolutely love it. I do miss the real estate business quite a bit. But in order to do that, I had to stay located in Virginia, which is where I'm from. And I was really ready to live in some different places and to travel more. So this life this business allows me to have more flexibility with where I am because I can really work from any area.

Gresham Harkless 03:13

Nice. I absolutely love that. And as somebody in the Virginia area, we definitely always appreciate when it's such a transient area and you find people that are being going, but we love that you've been able to make an impact here. And then you're doing so many awesome things with everything you do now. It's like you took that information. You just ran with it to make an impact for these business owners and organizations and so on.

Kirsten Graham 03:32

Thank you, sir. You're making a great impact. I love your podcast, and I think that you really you bring out real conversations with people. I really value and appreciate that. That was one of the reasons why I was looking so forward to being here today.

Gresham Harkless 03:42

Yeah. Absolutely. And I think that one of the great things that I feel like I get to do is we I get to take people to lunch, so to speak, virtually, and get to hear about all those awesome things. So I wanted to drill down a little bit more and hear a little bit more on how you're working with serving a class. Could you take us through exactly like how you're making that impact there?

Kirsten Graham 04:00

Yeah. So one of the things that I noticed was that a lot of business owners, their biggest challenge is generating leads and closing sales. Right? So as a business coach, I quite often. And my business partner was actually one of my coaching clients, and she owned a digital marketing agency. And over the years, what she saw was, obviously, marketing has changed. And so it's really important, I feel like, for business owners to show up as themselves. So whether that's hosting a podcast, being interviewed on podcast, starting a YouTube channel, but really building that community and that know and trust through content. So we focus a lot with local businesses on starting a YouTube channel and having great content that educates value based content, not sales content, but value based content. We work with a lot of real estate agents, law firms, spas. So we do a lot with brick and mortar types of businesses.

But we also work a lot with people in the coaching space. So I love the fact that we get to help people really, really bring their knowledge and their skill and their expertise to the table. And then the other side that I love is we actually pair our clients with a virtual assistant who does all the video editing, audio editing, social media, all the fun stuff. And we do it a little bit differently. We're not a marketing agency, and we're not an outsourcing agency. We are strictly a coaching and training company. So we're coaching our clients on their marketing strategy and how to show up with the best content for themselves. And then we're training the virtual assistants to do all the back end tasks. So just a little bit different, I think.

Gresham Harkless 05:35

Yeah. Absolutely. So do you feel like that's part of your secret sauce for yourself, the business, or combination of both? Do you feel like, of course, both of those aspects? But I feel like being dialed into that human part of knowing like, having these conversations, even thinking about that. Because you can easily say, here's the manual, here's the book, here's a video, here's all these things. But if you're not down into understanding that part, then you really can't help people to be as successful and impactful as they ultimately can be. So do you feel like that's part of what's set you apart and makes you unique?

Kirsten Graham 06:02

Absolutely. When Jeanne and I started outsourcing for her digital agency, it was 16 years ago. So if you could imagine, that was before Zoom. It was before Skype. It was really hard. And we did a lot of things wrong. We did so many things wrong. And I'm very grateful that we didn't give up. But in a lot of conversations I have with people, they'll say, oh, I hired a virtual assistant. It didn't work out. If I have to spend that much time training them on what to do, I'll just do it myself. So we see an epidemic of people outsourcing and hiring and having a really bad experience.

And it's not the fault of the person that they hired, and it's not necessarily their fault. They're just missing a skill. And for most entrepreneurs, it's creating SOPs, standard operating procedures. We like to say you lead people, you manage tasks. And it's really important that you have a very clear documented process for how you're gonna manage those workflows that your team members are doing. And we always joke that SOPs are not sexy, so we don't always talk about them a lot. But that really is the foundation of everything. It's making sure both our client and their team members are on the same page, and there's structure that supports both of them in the process.

Gresham Harkless 07:11

Yeah. Absolutely. And I imagine that as you start to set up those SOPs that again, allows it to become more, quote, unquote, like a business because, again, it's starting to standardize the steps that you're taking and the processes. So you start to realize like, the things that you're doing. Because I feel like especially if you're starting, you're a solopreneur, you're doing so many different things. We may not even realize the amount of things that we're doing. We're just trying to keep the train running, trying to keep the bus running, and do all those things. But being able to standardize and systematize that and document that is seems to be like a huge thing.

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Kirsten Graham 07:42

Yeah. It's interesting because, like earlier, you were also talking about the human component of it, right? So when we do start a business, we just have we have no idea what we don't know, right? And so we often feel like we just spend so much time learning. And for a lot of people, what hinders their success is that they spend so much time learning, and they do it because it's safe. Right? It's safer than getting out and pounding the pavement. It's safer than spending hours writing that sales copy or whatever you need to do. So it's a double edged sword. As human beings, we don't want to get eaten by the tiger. And sometimes making that sales call might feel like you're gonna get eaten by the tiger where learning how to use AI or learning something to get new is safe, but it's detrimental to your business.

Gresham Harkless 08:27

I truly appreciate that, kind of reminders about like how impactful like SOPs are and how they help to create structure, honestly, just around a business and what people can do and create more of a business because you actually know exactly what you're doing. Because I find so many people just can freestyle their way through business. But I almost wonder, do you notice that a lot of people are maybe afraid to take the steps and don't fully understand that the people that are really successful are those that pivot their way to success. They try something that doesn't work. It's not necessarily a failure, but they might see it that way, so they don't even try. Do you find that happens a lot?

Kirsten Graham 09:03

Absolutely. I think as entrepreneurs and CEOs, failure is just part of our day to day life. Right? We're always going to try things so they don't work out. But I don't think we should think of them as failures. I think we should look at them as us trying something and learning from it and then trying again or putting in a different direction if it doesn't make sense. And I think that's just a really powerful thing to keep in mind is that you only fail if you quit. Right? Otherwise, you get yourself up, you dust yourself try something else.

But one of the things that I think is really helpful is for a lot of our clients, if something doesn't work, when you have a team and you have people to support you, you have someone to talk out what happened and talk about what went wrong and what we can improve on and how we could change things. And that has a powerful impact, not just on getting things done, but it on our mindset and on our confidence. Because having that desire to get up every day and try new things and challenge ourselves is part of why we started businesses. They can also be scary. So I just think we need to embrace each day whether we win or we lose at something, get up and try something else. I definitely think that you're right about the pivoting. Absolutely.

Gresham Harkless 10:12

Yeah. I love that. And so I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an Apple book or even a habit that you have. But what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Kirsten Graham 10:23

Annual planning, quarterly planning, monthly planning, and weekly planning. So looking at the big picture, because as business owners, you always have so many ideas and so many things we want to do that we can get overwhelmed. So my business partner and I, we use a process where we look at what do we wanna accomplish in this year, and then we break those things down.

If a great opportunity comes up or something like, oh my gosh. We could do that. Then we have to look at that calendar as equals. That's something we're gonna put in quarter three because we can't do it right now. So having a way to strategically plan more long term than having everything on your plate right now, I think, is probably one of the things that we do that really helps.

Gresham Harkless 11:06

Yeah. That makes so much sense.

Kirsten Graham 11:07

And one more thought is that market research is so important. So for us, we're rolling out a new program this month, and we talked to over a 130 people. We interviewed a 130 people to find out what they wanted, what it would look like, what their fears were, what because again, as business owners, we have this great idea and we wanna create something, but we often don't take time to talk to our ideal clients to find out, is it what they want for one?

And if it is, how can I really drill down and make sure it's what they need and it's all the things that they want so that when I market it, I also have their wording? I know how to word what I'm offering based on what they told me they wanted to be needed. So I think market research is something that especially smaller businesses, if they need to slow down and do a little bit more of that, I think would make them a lot more successful a lot faster.

Gresham Harkless 12:00

Absolutely. So what would you consider would be a little bit more of what I call a CEO nugget? This could be a word of wisdom or piece of advice. I like to say it might be something you would tell your favorite client or if you add them to a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Kirsten Graham 12:13

Be grateful. I think the reality is when we get us every day grateful for what we have and the opportunities we have, I try to tell my clients all the time how grateful I am for them or tell our team how grateful I am for them or my business partner. I think it's focusing on gratitude and appreciation because a lot days, there are things that can be challenging or struggling and things can go wrong. Right? So if you can always focus on being grateful for the things that did go right and being grateful for the fact that you have the ability to take anything that didn't go well and turn it around. That empowers you rather than depleting you.

Gresham Harkless 12:50

I love that. And that ends up being so powerful. I almost wonder, do you find that if you continue to work on, for lack of a better term that muscle you continue to practice the gratitude that when those less than ideals days happen and those less than ideal things happen, you end up having those muscles built where you're still able to go to those gratitude resources to be able to power through the day.

Kirsten Graham 13:11

Yeah. Absolutely. I have a small mastermind that we meet every Monday morning. And so every day, we have to text each other three things that happened within the past 24 hours that were great before, and we can't repeat the same thing ever. So it really forces you sometimes to think about the smaller things that you're grateful for. But I do think having that muscle built up and constantly flexing that muscle is helpful, especially like we talked about earlier. Like you were saying, being an entrepreneur, there's challenges, and days could turn into weeks, and weeks could turn into months into years. So we wanna look at everything that we can do to build our confidence, give us the energy and strength that we need to have good days. You know, have more good days than we have bad days.

Gresham Harkless 13:55

Yeah. I love that. So now I wanna ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And my goal is to have, quote, unquote, different CEOs on the show. So, Kirsten, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Kirsten Graham 14:07

I get it I get to get up every day and do what I love, and I get to help people with my unique abilities. And I get to empower our team members to live within their unique abilities, And I love that.

Gresham Harkless 14:21

Nice. Absolutely love that as well too. I love as we talk too you brought up the word confidence many times. And I think that once people start to, I imagine, tap into that unique ability, their secret sauce, their superpower, that probably helps to build out their confidence as well too. So I love being able I love that analogy of the bus because being able to make sure that people understand this is so important to helping the bus continue to go forward. So having a greater appreciation of yourself, but also appreciation of others allows us to have a more confident and successful business and organization.

Kirsten Graham 14:53

Absolutely.

Gresham Harkless 14:54

Kirsten, truly appreciate that definition and that perspective. Of course, I appreciate your time even more. So what I want you to do now is pass you the mic, so to speak, to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know and of course, how best people can get a hold of you, thought about all the awesome things you and your team are working on.

Kirsten Graham 15:09

Sure. Absolutely. You can find us at Six Figure Business Coaching, and that's sixfigurebusinesscoaching.com. If you're interested in video marketing, you can check out The Marketing VA Advantage, themarketingvaadvantage.com. And the new program that we're rolling out is to help clients get booked on podcast. So if you're ready to have a virtual assistant consistently get you booked on podcast, you can check out The Podcast VA Advantage. thepodcastvaadvantage.com.

Gresham Harkless 15:37

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. And of course, to make that even easier, we'll have the links and information that's shown us as well too so everybody can get a hold of you, the new programs, all the awesome things that you're doing. I'm super excited to get the opportunity to hear about some of those people you have when you booked on podcast that could hopefully be on ours as well too. So, Kirsten, truly appreciate that definition, your time, and all the awesome things you're doing.

I think so many times we forget that when we acquire like knowledge and experience and abilities that we can sometimes hoard them and not share them out. So I appreciate you so much in allowing us to take you to lunch so we can learn a little little bit more from you and all the awesome things you're doing for so many entrepreneurs and business owners. So I appreciate your question.

Kirsten Graham 16:15

I appreciate being here. Thank you so much to you and your team.

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Outro 16:18

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by CBNation and Blue16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Check out the latest and greatest apps, books, and habits to level up your business at CEOhacks.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.

Title: Transcript - Mon, 17 Jun 2024 15:09:11 GMT

Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2024 15:09:11 GMT, Duration: [00:16:52.97]

[00:00:00.10] - Kirsten Graham

So I love the fact that we get to help people really, really bring their knowledge and their skill and their expertise to the table. And then the other side that I love is we actually pair our clients with a virtual assistant who does all the video editing, audio editing, social media, all the fun stuff.

[00:00:20.39] - Intro

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

[00:00:47.70] - Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast, and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Kirsten Graham. Kirsten, excited to have you on the show.

[00:00:55.29] - Kirsten Graham

Thank you so much for having me. I'm thrilled to be here, Gresh. I can't wait for our conversation.

[00:00:59.50] - Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. I'm thrilled as well because Kirsten is doing so many awesome things. And, of course, before we jump into the conversation, I'm gonna read a little bit more about Kirsten so you can hear about some of those awesome things. And Kirsten loves helping business owners create evergreen value based video content that showcases their authority to build, know, and trust. Knowing that time is our most valuable asset, Kirsten and her team pair each client with a trained marketing VA who takes care of video, audio editing, social media, and email marketing. This frees them up to focus on making money. And one of the things I loved before I jumped into this is I read a little bit more more about Kirsten. I've heard and read that she's done so many awesome things, including owning her own mortgage company, a real estate closing company, and also she's been a real estate investor as well too. Over thirty five years of sales experience. And what I really, really love is she got her start at the age of twelve, I think, with being a Girl Scout, which I thought was absolutely awesome. And, I I love the quote that she said her dad said that she would do a really good job in being in the military if she could start out as a general. So, Kirsten, excited to have you on the show. Are you ready to speak to the IMCEL community?

[00:02:08.00] - Kirsten Graham

Absolutely. Thank you so much. I I forget about my dad saying that sometimes, so I think it is definitely in our bio or the website.

[00:02:15.30] - Gresham Harkless

Yes. Absolutely. I was watching a video, and you had mentioned it. So I thought that was awesome and how important it is, especially, I imagine, for the work you do and the people that you work with. So I I know I touched on a little bit. Let's rewind the clock. Hear a little bit more on how you guys started, what I call your CEO story.

[00:02:29.90] - Kirsten Graham

Sure. Yeah. So like you said, I spent most of my career in real estate, and I absolutely loved it. At the time when I in my mortgage company, my closing company, I did a lot of loans for self employed people. So I would see their business tax returns, and I would see their personal tax returns. And And then they would always take me to lunch to pick my brain. So that was the start of a decade of mentoring, which eventually turned into a paid coaching business. And I absolutely love it. I do miss the real estate business quite a bit. But in order to do that, I had to stay located in Virginia, which is where I'm from. And I was really ready to live in some different places and to travel more. So this life this business allows me to have more flexibility with where I am because I can really work from any area.

[00:03:13.50] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. I absolutely love that. And as somebody in the Virginia area, we we definitely always appreciate when it's such a transient area and you find people that are being going, but we love that you've been able to make an impact here. And then you're you're doing so many awesome things with with everything you do now. It's like you took that information. You just ran with it to make an impact for these business owners and organizations and so on.

[00:03:32.30] - Kirsten Graham

Thank you, sir. You're making a great impact. I love your podcast, and I think that you really you bring out real conversations with people. I really value and appreciate that. That was one of the reasons why I was looking so forward to being here today.

[00:03:42.80] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And and I think that one of the great things that I feel like I get to do is we I get to take people to lunch, so to speak, virtually, and get to hear about all those awesome things. So I I wanted to drill down a little bit more and hear a little bit more on how you're working with serving a class. Could you take us through exactly like how you're making that impact there?

[00:04:00.00] - Kirsten Graham

Yeah. So one of the things that I noticed was that a lot of business owners, their biggest challenge is generating leads and closing sales. Right? So as a business coach, I quite often. And my business partner was actually one of my coaching clients, and she owned a digital marketing agency. And over the years, what she saw was, obviously, marketing has changed. And so it's really important, I feel like, for business owners to show up as themselves. So whether that's hosting a podcast, being interviewed on podcast, starting a YouTube channel, but really building that community and that know and trust through content. So we focus a lot with local businesses on starting a YouTube channel and having great content that educates value based content, not sales content, but value based content. We work with a lot of real estate agents, law firms, spas. So we do a lot with brick and mortar types of businesses. But we also work a lot with people in the coaching space. So I love the fact that we get to help people really, really bring their knowledge and their skill and their expertise to the table. And then the other side that I love is we actually pair our clients with a virtual assistant who does all the video editing, audio editing, social media, all the fun stuff. And we do it a little bit differently. We're not a marketing agency, and we're not an outsourcing agency. We are strictly a coaching and training company. So we're coaching our clients on their marketing strategy and how to show up with the best content for themselves. And then we're we're training the virtual assistants to do all the back end tasks. So just a little bit different, I think.

[00:05:35.60] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. So do you do you feel like that's part of your secret sauce for yourself, the business, or combination of both? Do you feel like, of course, both of those aspects? But I feel like being dialed into that human part of knowing, like, having these conversations, even thinking about that. Because you can easily say, here's the manual, here's the book, here's a video, here's all these things. But if you're not down into understanding that part, then you really can't help people to be as successful and impactful as they ultimately can be. So do you feel like that's part of what's set you apart of MakeGenie?

[00:06:02.69] - Kirsten Graham

Absolutely. When Jeanne and I started outsourcing for her digital agency, it was sixteen years ago. So if you could imagine, that was before Zoom. It was before Skype. It was really hard. And we did a lot of things wrong. We did so many things wrong. And I'm very grateful that we didn't give up. But in a lot of conversations I have with people, they'll say, oh, I hired a virtual assistant. It didn't work out. If I have to spend that much time training them on what to do, I'll just do it myself. So we see an epidemic of people outsourcing and hiring and having a really bad experience. And it's not the fault of the person that they hired, and it's not necessarily their fault. They're just missing a skill. And for most entrepreneurs, it's it's creating SOPs, standard operating procedures. We like to say you lead people, you manage tasks. And it's really important that you have a very clear documented process for how you're gonna manage those workflows that your team members are doing. And we always joke that SOPs are not sexy, so we don't always talk about them a lot. But that really is the foundation of everything. It's making sure both our client and their team members are on the same page, and there's structure that supports both of them in the process.

[00:07:11.89] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And I imagine that as you start to to set up those SOPs that, again, allows it to become more, quote, unquote, like a business because, again, it it's it's starting to standardize the steps that you're taking and the processes. So you start to realize, like, the things that you're doing. Because I feel like especially if you're starting, you're a solopreneur, you're doing so many different things. We may not even realize the amount of things that we're doing. We're just trying to keep the train running, trying to keep the bus running, and do all those things. But being able to standardize and systematize that and document that is seems seems to be, like, a huge thing. Yeah.

[00:07:42.80] - Kirsten Graham

It's interesting because, like, earlier, you were also talking about the the human component of it. Right? So when we when we do start a business, we just have we have no idea what we don't know. Right? And so we often feel like we just spend so much time learning. And for a lot of people, what hinders their success is that they spend so much time learning, and they do it because it's safe. Right? It's safer than getting out and pounding the pavement. It's safer than spending hours writing that sales copy or whatever you need to do. So it's a double edged sword. As human beings, we don't want to get eaten by the tiger. And sometimes making that sales call might feel like you're gonna get eaten by the tiger where, you know, learning how to use AI or learning something to get new is safe, but it's detrimental to your business.

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[00:08:27.69] - Gresham Harkless

I truly appreciate that, kind of reminders about, like, how impactful, like, SOPs are and how they help to create structure, honestly, just around a business and what people can do and and create more of a business because you actually know exactly what you're doing. Because I find so many people just can freestyle their way through business. But I almost wonder, do you notice that a lot of people are maybe afraid to take the steps and don't fully understand that the people that are really successful are those that pivot their way to success. They try something that doesn't work. It's not necessarily a failure, but they might see it that way, so they don't even try. Do you find that happens a lot?

[00:09:03.70] - Kirsten Graham

Absolutely. I think as entrepreneurs and CEOs, failure is just part of our day to day life. Right? We're always going to try things so they don't work out. But I don't think we should think of them as failures. I think we should look at them as us trying something and learning from it and then trying again or putting in a different direction if it doesn't make sense. And I think that's just a really powerful thing to keep in mind is that you only fail if you quit. Right? Otherwise, you get yourself up, you dust yourself try something else. But one of the things that I think is really helpful is for a lot of our clients, if something doesn't work, when you have a team and you have people to support you, you have someone to talk out what happened and talk about what went wrong and what we can improve on and how we could change things. And that has a powerful impact, not just on getting things done, but it on our mindset and on our confidence. Because having that desire to get up every day and try new things and challenge ourselves is part of why we started businesses. They can also be scary. So I just think we need to embrace each day whether we win or we lose at something, Get up and try something else. I definitely think that you're right about the pivoting. Absolutely.

[00:10:12.10] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. I love that. And so I wanted to switch gears a little bit, And I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an Apple book or even a habit that you have. But what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:10:23.39] - Kirsten Graham

Annual planning, quarterly planning, monthly planning, and weekly planning. So looking at the big picture, because as business owners, you always have so many ideas and so many things we want want to do that we can get overwhelmed. So my business partner and I, we use a process where we look at what what do we wanna accomplish in this year, and then we break those things down. If a great opportunity comes up or something like, oh my gosh. We could do that. Then we have to look at that calendar as equals. That's something we're gonna put in quarter three because we can't do it right now. So having a way to strategically plan more long term than having everything on your plate right now, I think, is is probably one of the things that we do that really helps.

[00:11:06.29] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. That that makes so much sense.

[00:11:07.89] - Kirsten Graham

And One one more thought is that market research is so important. So for us, we're rolling out a new program this month, and we talked to over a hundred and thirty people. We interviewed a hundred and thirty people to find out what they wanted, what it would look like, what their fears were, what because, again, as business owners, we have this great idea and we wanna create something, but we often don't take time to talk to our ideal clients to find out, is it what they want for one? And if it is, how can I really drill down and make sure it's what they need and it's all the things that they want so that when I market it, I also have their wording? I know how to word what I'm offering based on what they told me they wanted to be needed. So I think market research is something that especially smaller businesses, if they need to slow down and do a little bit more of that, I think would make them a lot more successful a lot faster.

[00:12:00.39] - Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. So what would you consider would be a little bit more of what I call a CEO nugget? This could be a word of wisdom or piece of advice. I like to say it might be something you would tell your favorite client or if you add them to a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

[00:12:13.70] - Kirsten Graham

Be grateful. I think the reality is when we get us every day grateful for what we have and the opportunities we have, I try to tell my clients all the time how grateful I am for them or tell our team how grateful I am for them or my business partner. I think it's focusing on gratitude and appreciation because a lot days, there are things that can be challenging or struggling and things can go wrong. Right? So if you can always focus on being grateful for the things that did go right and being grateful for the fact that you have the ability to take anything that didn't go well and turn it around. That empowers you rather than depleting you.

[00:12:50.50] - Gresham Harkless

I love that. And that ends up being so powerful. I almost wonder, do you find that if you continue to work on, for lack of a better term, that muscle, you continue to practice the gratitude that when those less than ideals days happen and those less than ideal things happen, you end up having those muscles built where you're still able to go to those gratitude resources to be able to power through the day.

[00:13:11.89] - Kirsten Graham

Yeah. Absolutely. I have a small mastermind that we meet every Monday morning. And so every day, we have to text each other three things that happened within the past twenty four hours that were great before, and we can't repeat the same thing ever. So it really forces you sometimes to think about the smaller things that you're grateful for. But I do think having that muscle built up and constantly flexing that muscle is helpful, especially like we talked about earlier. Like you were saying, being an entrepreneur, there's there's challenges, and days could turn into weeks, and weeks could turn into months into years. So we wanna look at everything that we can do to build our confidence, give us the energy and strength that we need to have good days. You know, have more good days than we have bad days.

[00:13:55.70] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. I I love that. So now I wanna ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And my goal is to have, quote, unquote, different CEOs on the show. So, Kirsten, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:14:07.29] - Kirsten Graham

I get it I get to get up every day and do what I love, and I get to help people with my unique abilities. And I get to empower our team members to live within their unique abilities, And I love that.

[00:14:21.39] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. Absolutely love that as well too. I love as we talk too you you brought up the word confidence many times. And I think that once people start to, I imagine, tap into that unique ability, their secret sauce, their superpower, that probably helps to build out their confidence as well too. So I love being able I I love that analogy of the the bus because being able to make sure that people understand this is so important to helping the bus continue to go forward. So having a a greater appreciation of yourself, but also appreciation of others allows us to have a more confident and successful business and organization.

[00:14:53.70] - Kirsten Graham

Absolutely.

[00:14:54.89] - Gresham Harkless

Kirsten, truly appreciate that definition and that perspective. Of course, I appreciate your time even more. So what I want you to do now is pass you the mic, so to speak, to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know, and, of course, how best people can get hold of you, thought about all the awesome things you and your team are working on.

[00:15:09.50] - Kirsten Graham

Sure. Absolutely. You can find us at six figure business coaching, and that's s I x figure business coaching dot com. If you're interested in video marketing, you can check out the marketing VA advantage, the marketing VA advantage dot com. And the new program that we're rolling out is to help clients get booked on podcast. So if you're ready to have a virtual assistant consistently get you booked on podcast, you can check out the podcast VA Advantage. Podcast v a advantage dot com.

[00:15:37.89] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. And, of course, to make that even easier, we'll have the links and information that's shown us as well too so everybody can get a hold of you, the new programs, all the awesome things that you're doing. I'm super excited to get the opportunity to hear about some of those people you have when you booked on podcast that could hopefully be on ours as well too. So, Kirsten, truly appreciate that definition, your time, and all the awesome things you're doing. I think so many times we forget that when we acquire, like, knowledge and experience and abilities that we can sometimes hoard them and not share them out. So I appreciate you so much in allowing us to take you to lunch so we can learn a little little bit more from you and all the awesome things you're doing for so many entrepreneurs and business owners. So I appreciate your question.

[00:16:15.50] - Kirsten Graham

I appreciate being here. Thank you so much to you and your team.

[00:16:18.29] - Intro

Thank you for listening to the I am CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue sixteen Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I m c e o dot c o. I am CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Check out the latest and greatest apps, books, and habits to level up your business at CEO Hacks dot c o. This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Junior. Thank you for listening.

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Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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